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Cougar Trio to Play in Senior Classic

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March 30, 2007
Gary Pine
AZUSA, Calif. –- Azusa Pacific seniors Justin Magallanez, Josh Zeno and Marcus Lampkin have been named to play in the first-ever Victor Sports Network Senior Classic, an NAIA all-star football game slated for Saturday, April 21, in Platte City, Mo.

The VSN Senior Classic matches some of the best NAIA players from across the country playing on “American” and “National” teams at the Platte County High School Stadium, home of NAIA-member University of Saint Mary football games.

The VSN Senior Classic is the brainchild of Victory Sports Network owner Jason Dannelly, a former NAIA football player as well.

“I originally fell in love with the concept a few years ago when the Great Plains Athletic Conference and the Heart of America Athletic Conference played an all-star game against one another,” said Dannelly. “I decided there was no reason why VSN shouldn’t be trying to do something nationally.”

Magallanez, Zeno and Lampkin are all coming off fine 2006 campaigns and were key figures in Azusa Pacific’s drive to the NAIA playoffs in 2005. Magallanez, who transferred to Azusa Pacific from Chaffey Community College at the start of the 2005 season, was the Cougars’ starting offensive center in 12 of the 14 games he played the past 2 seasons. Despite his undersized 5-11, 265-pound frame for a center, Magallanez is a gifted blocking technician, one of the finest along the Cougar front over the past 5 years.

Zeno, who like Magallanez transferred to Azusa Pacific at the start of the 2005 season from Antelope Valley Community College, is coming off a breakthrough 2006 campaign after playing much of the 2005 season as a reserve. Last fall, Zeno started all 10 games at defensive end and led the Cougars with 6 quarterback sacks and 12 tackles for loss.

A 3-year Cougar, Lampkin is only the sixth player in Azusa Pacific football history to rush for over 2,000 yards in a career. He was Azusa Pacific’s top offensive threat the past 2 seasons, rushing for 926 yards in 2005 and 708 yards this past season. As a 2005 junior, he tied Cougar legend Christian Okoye’s single-game rushing record with 248 yards in Azusa Pacific’s 34-31 come-from-behind, NAIA-playoff-clinching victory at Valley City State College (N.D.)

Bethel College (Tenn.) head coach Dino Kaklis and Sterling College (Kan.) head coach Andy Lambert will lead the 2 all-star squads of the inaugural VSN Senior Classic. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. (CDT).

Click here for more information on the football game and Victory Sports Network.